Influenza A viruses (IAVs) present major public health threats from annual seasonal epidemics and pandemics and from viruses adapted to a variety of animals including poultry, pigs, and horses. Vaccines that broadly protect against all such IAVs, so-called "universal" influenza vaccines, do not currently exist but are urgently needed. Here, we demonstrated that an inactivated, multivalent whole-virus vaccine, delivered intramuscularly or intranasally, was broadly protective against challenges with multiple IAV hemagglutinin and neuraminidase subtypes in both mice and ferrets. The vaccine is composed of four β-propiolactone-inactivated low-pathogenicity avian IAV subtypes of H1N9, H3N8, H5N1, and H7N3. Vaccinated mice and ferrets demonstrated substantial protection against a variety of IAVs, including the 1918 H1N1 strain, the highly pathogenic avian H5N8 strain, and H7N9. We also observed protection against challenge with antigenically variable and heterosubtypic avian, swine, and human viruses. Compared to control animals, vaccinated mice and ferrets demonstrated marked reductions in viral titers, lung pathology, and host inflammatory responses. This vaccine approach indicates the feasibility of eliciting broad, heterosubtypic IAV protection and identifies a promising candidate for influenza vaccine clinical development.